The Afro-Costa Rican's Concept of Nationality
as Reflected in Selected Works of Quince Duncan

Charles Kargleder
Spring Hill College

"Eres costarricense?" Jamaican-born Jakel Duke asks his grandson Clif. This question, raised by one of his fictional characters, symbolizes Quince Duncan's exploration of the Afro-Costa Rican's sense of personal and national identity.

Since the publication of his collection of short stories, Una

canción en la madrugada, in 1970, Duncan has become "el más importante y representativo de los escritores del Caribe centroamericano." (Kimbo, n. pag.)

Abelardo Bonilla writes that "la cultura costarricense nació y se desarrolló en la altiplanicie de nuestra Meseta Central..."

(32). He points out that only in recent years have the Atlantic and Pacific coasts been discovered "para fines estéticos...en el paisaje y en el hombre...." (33)

This reality is quite evident in the case of Quince Duncan.

He is a solitary spokesman for a forgotten people who populated the Atlantic coast and contributed silently to the history of Costa Rica. Alfonso Chase calls him "el único narrador negro de nuestra literatura." (Narrativa I, 107-108)

Carlos Meléndez indicates that Blacks have been in Costa Rica since the Colonial period. Significant numbers of Blacks did not appear, however, until "el día 20 de diciembre de 1872 en que llegó el primer navío al puerto de Limón, procedente de Kingston." (Negro 71)

The Jamaica-Costa Rica connection was a long-standing link which brought Jamaican workers to Puerto Limón where they were to build the railroad from the Atlantic coast to San José in the Central Valley. When Minor Keith, the director of the project, saw an opportunity to increase the exportation of bananas on the international market, he employed Jamaican Blacks as the principal workers on the Company's plantations. Further expansion of the banana industry would continue under the management of the United Fruit Company.

During the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries the Black population remained confined largely to the Atlantic zone. Westward migration was discouraged and then forbidden beyond the town of Turrialba. In 1934, a law was promulgated which prohibited Black people from seeking work in the Pacific zone. (Negro 92)

This lamentable situation did not change until the Revolution of 1948. José Figueres, leader of the opposition to the government of Rafael Angel Calderón Guardia, spoke out for the equal rights of Afro-Costa Ricans. Duncan writes:

Triunfan los insurrectos. José Figueres llega a Limón y recorre los pueblos hablando en inglés, besando a los niños negros, bailando con las negras. Nunca antes ningún presidente de Costa Rica había hecho tal cosa. El negro por primera vez se interesa por el país. (Negro 135)

It should be noted that the original Jamaican workers who came to Costa Rica had no interest in becoming Costa Rican citizens. Jamaicans considered themselves to be British subjects. They spoke English, dressed in their fashion, cooked and ate different foods, constructed and furnished their homes in the Jamaican style and were Protestant in their religious beliefs.

The following generation of Blacks was more divided in its self-perception, but few identified with the government of San José or the Meseta culture. Black parents resisted sending their children to state schools where they would learn Spanish and be exposed to the less hygienic white children. (Negro 221)

Costa Ricans from the Meseta Central showed little concern or understanding of the Black people of the Atlantic coast or their culture. They did not consider the Blacks to be "ticos," and usually referred to them as "chumecos," "morenos," or, at best, "limoneses." As Meléndez indicates: "a todos los negros se los medía con el mismo rasero, de manera que todos eran---sobre todo vistos desde el interior del país---negros bananeros" (91).

According to Bryce La Porte, more adaptation than acculturation took place among the Afro-Costa Ricans from 1870-1930. (Negro 251)

As the plantation economy declined, so did hope among the Blacks. Many emigrated to seek residence in Panama or the United States. The back-to-Africa movement of the Jamaican Marcus Garvey appealed to the unemployed and disenchanted.

Since the Revolution of 1948, Afro-Costa Ricans have participated more completely and freely in the national life of their country. People moved to San José in search of better jobs and higher education. "No fue sino hasta la crisis del sistema de plantación y tras la revolución de 1948, que los negros en realidad empezaron a integrarse en la subestructura nacional más que a la regional." (Negro 251)

In spite of the important progress toward the Afro-Costa Rican's full integration into the mainstream of her/his society, problems such as prejudice, poverty, and linguistic differences endure today. Moreover, the young Black accepts little without question: "Ha asumido una posición crítica frente a su realidad histórica y cultural." (Negro 147)

The heart of Quince Duncan's fiction is found in his characters' constant search for their essential identity, whether it be racial or national. I will examine the Afro-Costa Rican's self-concept as it appears in Duncan's novels, Hombres curtidos, Los cuatro espejos, and La paz del pueblo.

Hombres curtidos (1971) presents Duncan's seminal ideas on national identification. The protagonist, Clif Duke, returns to his home on the Atlantic coast after living in San José for fourteen years. He has come back to write his grandfather Jakel's biography, for he believes that his grandfather's wisdom and the Duke heritage must be passed on. It is his duty to "llevar a cabo las responsabilidades innominadas que nuestros abuelos nos confiaron, de perpetuar nombre y raza para los hijos y los hijos de los hijos...." (56)

By means of flashbacks and characters' memories Duncan pieces together the history of the Duke family from life in Jamaica to Clif's return to the Limón region.

When a young Jakel arrives in Puerto Limón he is met by his brother, Walter, who has preceeded him from Jamaica. Walter invites him to attend a friend's wedding. The interesting part of this episode is that, although the wedding is taking place in Costa Rica, everything---food, wine, even the bride---was imported from Jamaica. The British consul was also in attendance to add prestige to the occasion.

On his deathbed Jakel remembers the time that a flood destroyed the farmers' crops and nothing was left from which to live. Jakel asks his wife if she wants to leave Costa Rica and return to Jamaica as they had once planned to do. Gretel has changed in her attitude toward the land, however, for she refuses to consider Jakel's question: "Tal vez con todo el sacrificio y el esfuerzo que nos ha costado, hayamos ganado le [sic] derecho a la tierra para nuestros hijos." (90)

"La vid" is a key chapter in the novel. Jakel's daughter, Grace, discusses the Black people's identity with a suitor, Clovis, who wishes to marry her.

Clovis argues that Blacks should preserve their Jamaican heritage and the English language. They are like the Jews scattered throughout the world, but they should be united in their race, religion and customs. He points out that when Blacks lose their original culture they have problems.

Grace challenges Clovis' ideas. She accuses her people of being obstinate and stupid. As a result, they lack the necessary civic restiveness which will confront their problems. She says that Blacks must cast aside their basic culture because there is no possibilty of renewal: "Nuestra mediocridad ha creado el estancamiento en que estamos; ha creado los problemas económicos, comunales y sociales..." (69). Her words take on even a harsher tone when she attacks Jamaica itself: "Jamaica debe ser puesta en nuestro museo. En cuanto a nuestra nacionalidad se refiere, ha muerto." (72)

The core of Duncan's theme, however, is seen in Clif's recurring memory of his grandfather's question to him as a boy: " [[questiondown]]Eres costarricense?" The question was only a framework, however, for Jakel's lesson to Clif on the history of the Black people.

Basing himself on the Bible Jakel explains that Man was given dominion over the earth. The Black people were able to conquer the land in Costa Rica. The cholos from the Meseta could not because their culture was inferior. "Era necesaria la presencia de una raza curtida por el dolor, un cuerpo probado en fuego..." (111). Blacks lost their lives in the struggle, and their blood gave their children rights to the land.

Clif sees the Black people's deliberate separatism as being racist, but Jakel counters by saying that the first generation planned to return to Jamaica. Moreover, Clif is not Jamaican, he is Costa Rican. Jamaica was the land of his parents. His grandfather's statement causes Clif to examine his identity: "La tierra de mis padres, [[questiondown]]entonces soy costarricense?" (119)

Clif recalls asking his grandfather about Garvey and his back-to-Africa movement. Jakel rejects the idea immediately with the questions: Return to what country? Where in Africa would they go? They have different cultures now, and African Blacks would not allow them to impose their ideas on them. " ...Clif...dijo...esta hora marca el despertar de la raza: ha llegado la hora de liberarnos de la raza; ha llegado el momento de liberarnos del yugo milenario, en todo el mundo de pronto emergen los negros, y ya no podrán someternos." (135)

Jakel says that it is impossible to leave Costa Rica because they have come to love it. Clif reflects on the death of his grandmother and agrees. Her sacrifice should be respected: "Los huesos de muchos se levantarían para reclamarnos si nos fuésemos." (136)

Jakel's most important words to Clif sum up the history of the Black people: "Somos hombres curtidos Clif, eso es el asunto. Curtidos en el dolor y en el sufrimiento. Los pueblos curtidos son...son más hondos. Pero Clif antes que negro, eres hombre. Cuídate del odio." (107)

Jakel's counsel to his grandson is built on personal trials and humiliation. As he lies dying in the hospital Jakel remembers being refused the use of a toilet in San José. He is then submitted to the indignity of being arrested and fined when, in desperation, he used an abandoned lot.

Clif also recalls the prejudice and superstition that he encountered in San José. Blacks would avoid each other when they walked down the streets so they would not have to recognize the existence of one another. The lyrics of a cruel song that many sang during the popular fiestas of Plaza Víquez filter through Clif's first memories of the capital: "Ay ay ay que chiles tenemos, / como ustedes lo verán, / vienen con los negritos / con los monos de Bataan." (126)

During that period Clif reflected bitterly on the Black people's status in Costa Rica: "Chinos y blancos---pensé muchas veces---en mi propio país, chinos y blancos y ningún `ciudadano

de raza negra.'" (132)

At the end of the novel Clif understands his grandfather's question. His identity is a problem which he must resolve. Part of that resolution will come from his mission to ensure that Jakel's message is not lost to his descendents.

Los cuatro espejos (1973), like Hombres curtidos, is the Black man's search for self-definition. Structurally Los cuatro espejos follows the example of its predecessor. Changes in narrative perspective occur; linear chronology is not observed, for Duncan again depends heavily on his characters' recollections and internal monologues to direct the course of the novel.

Charles McForbes, the protagonist, is a Black man who has achieved comfortable middle-class status in San José. He is educated and well-known in intellectual circles. Moreover, he has married a white woman, Ester, the daughter of a prominent doctor.

Charles' secure world is shattered one evening as he listens to the speaker of a conference that he helped organize address the audience on the exploitation of Blacks and Indians. Charles does not want to accept the thesis.

The next morning Charles is horrified when he is unable to see his image in the bathroom mirror. Charles dresses and flees the house in panic. Thus he begins an existential search for himself in the streets of San José. He goes first to an occulist, who assures him that he is not going blind. The occulist believes that Charles is overwrought and recommends that he consult a psychoanalyst.

As he walks through the streets Charles begins to be more aware of racial differences. Workers ask him for a light in

English. A bus driver expects a Black man from Limón to speak poor Spanish although the man speaks Spanish very well. While riding with Díaz, the psychoanalyst, the latter almost runs down a Black woman. When Diaz complains that people walk in the streets only in Limón, Charles remembers the lecturer's words: "Hay un trato distinto." (24)

Unimpressed with Diaz' tests of him Charles takes to the streets again. He stops to buy a mirror from a street vendor, but he breaks it and must buy another one. He is shocked to see the face of a Black man in it. " [[questiondown]]Tengo el rostro negro? Aquello se me había convertido en obsesion. Era la totalidad de mi mundo. Pensé que a lo mejor estaba sugestionado por el conferencista de la noche anterior. Porque no es posible cambiar el color de la piel. [[questiondown]]O acaso era posible?" (30) Charles runs away frightened by what he has seen. People stare at him, and he hears the word, "moreno."

Duncan's style consciously reflects Charles' mental confusion and his increasing awareness of his plight. In the role of narrator Charles apologizes to the reader:

Sé que estoy a ratos hablando como un cursi, y otro rato a lo relajo. Bueno, a lo relajo no, pero por lo menos no como habla la gente de mi nivel. Es lo que dice aquella poetisa africana: "aquí estoy, atrapada entre dos culturas." Pucha carajo, y no sé por ónde agarrar. (66-67)

Charles is haunted by stereotypes that are ascribed to Blacks: They are good dancers; it is in their blood. They are passionate and intelligent. "Como si se hubiese hecho a todos en el mismo molde, uno por uno parecidos física y moralmente, con idénticos atributos, con los mismos defectos." (119)

Charles' blackness stands out now. He is stopped in the street by the police and warned that he must be careful. "Aquí no estás en Limón" (120). More painful for Charles, however, is the realization that he feels like a stranger to his wife. His home is no longer his own. His identity has changed. "[[questiondown]]Cómo se le dice a una esposa que uno se volvió negro en la madrugada, un poco antes o después de hacerle el amor?" (113)

Charles decides to return to Estrada in the Atlantic zone where he was born. He knows that he can no longer escape or deny his origins. Duncan's prose takes on a lyrical tone as Charles meditates on his decision: "Ahora volvía a la tierra negra que perfora y penetra los poros. Tierra negra que se adhiere de pronto a las encías y limpia el barniz. Tierra sin tiempo, sin forma, que se nos mete en la lengua." (128)

Throughout the novel Duncan moves back and forward in time to present episodes from Charles' childhood and early adult years in Estrada. We learn gradually of his bi-racial ancestry, his friends such as Clif Duke, his first wife, Lorena, and her friend, Ruth Viales, the bitter rivalry between Charles and Christian Bowman for the affection of Lorena, Lorena's illness / possession and her slow decline and death.

Duncan reveals Charles' many sexual affairs which include relationships with Ruth and Victoria, who bears him a son. Duncan also describes Charles' struggle to earn a living from the land, his increasing disillusionment with Estrada and his abandonment of it to seek a better life in San José.

By means of his characters Duncan examines the attitudes many Jamaican and first-generation Blacks held about their lineage. Christian Bowman is annoyed that his family reproaches him because he did not vote for the political candidate that most Blacks supported. He complains that "un jamaiquino naturalizado viniera a decirle a un nativo por quién debería votar" (59). It is evident that Christian feels that his birth on Costa Rican soil has given him rights and privileges that separate him from his Jamaican-born relatives.

Charles' grandfather was proud of his Scottish blood. He advised his sons to marry an English or a bi-racial woman, not a Black. "Hay que ir blanqueando" (130). Charles' father, Pete, thought that it was admirable that his good friend, Jakel Duke, was so fiercely proud of his African heritage. Pete told Charles that his grandfather's idea on race was foolish. "Charles: usted es negro" (132). As Charles reflects on his own life, he wonders where, and at what point, he lost his identity.

Charles' wife, Ester, had been very prejudiced against Blacks until she met him. She tells her father that Charles is a strange person, "no es ni negro, ni blanco. Está mas allá de las definiciones" (111). She makes this observation, however, without knowing that Charles has rejected his grandfather's idea. In spite of the lightness of his own skin, he thinks: "Pero me crié entre un pueblo negro y, por lo mismo, mamé de una negra los primeros sabores de la vida." (128)

Charles returns to Limón in search of his roots, but he discovers that time has changed people's lives. Two of his loves, Ruth and Victoria, now live with other men. Victoria introduces Charles to their son as "Uncle Charles." Although the boy and the village are an integral part of his heritage, Charles no longer belongs to or in Estrada.

At the end of the novel Charles goes back to San José. He protects Ester from possible harm at the hands of a gang leader who had been threatening her cousin. In doing so Charles also saves their marriage. Ester tells Charles that she does not want a divorce. Charles warns her that by chaining him she is chaining herself too. She replies: "Todos estamos encadenados. Son cadenas de Dios." (162)

Charles and Ester have looked in the mirror and have seen themselves. Finally they can accept what they are and what the other is. Charles will face the future as a Black man, but his world will not be limited to the Black world of Estrada and Limón. At the side of a white woman he will participate in a society that is predominantly white but which belongs to him as well. Charles' deeds and those of his Black brothers and sisters have left their stamp on Costa Rica. Charles is not only a "limonense," he is an Afro-Costa Rican.

Donald K. Gordon writes: "Desde las primeras obras de Duncan están delineadas las luchas de los que quieren cambiar una mala situación y los que quieren proteger sus privilegios" (61). This is the fundamental theme of La paz de pueblo (1978).

The Jamaican Pedro Dull comes to Limón to work on the banana plantations. The economic injustices of the Banana Company cause him to participate in the strike of 1934. Later he seeks employment on the farm of B. Brown, who represents the interests of the Company.

Both Pedro and Brown are Blacks. Brown, however, has gained wealth and position because he has identified with the political and economic power bases of the area. He has no use for the government of San José, however. He believes that the President, Ricardo Jiménez, is a Communist and tolerated too many excesses during the strike of 1934. Brown sees himself as a British subject and, as such, superior to Costa Rican citizens. He does not believe that Great Britain would have permitted the situation to get out of hand.

For the Costa Rican Black life at this smoment is extremely difficult. The banana economy on the Atlantic coast is collapsing. The government of León Cortés, however, passed a law forbidding Blacks to go to the Pacific coast to work the plantations there. Many Blacks are leaving Costa Rica to look for better opportunities in Panama. When a Black gravedigger tells his co-worker that he wants to go to San José, the latter warns him that he cannot do that under the present government. "Tenés sólo dos caminos: Panamá o quedarte aquí." (75)

Local Blacks find little solace in Marcus Garvey's back-to-Africa movement. The minister of their church supports strongly the status-quo and the actions of Brown in the community. The minister attacks Garvey's supporters as "locos que pretenden que volvamos al Africa, a la barbarie, al paganismo" (149). The lack of enthusiasm among the members of the congregation indicates their sense of hopelessness in being able to change the present circumstances in Estrada.

When Brown allows López, a worker on his farm, to be dismissed without medical assistance because he suffers from tuberculosis the other workers threaten to strike. Pedro is regarded as an instigator of the unrest.

Pedro had already become a controversial figure in Estrada. He had carried on a love affair with the beautiful Sitaira, who was coveted by most of the men, especially Brown's son, Cató. After Sitaira's mysterious murder, rumors, supported by Brown, place the blame on Pedro. Most of the evidence points clearly, however, toward the unbalanced Cató who already had the nickname, "el loco." Sitaira's mother, Mariot, urges Pedro to flee to Panama, but he goes instead with a companion to Brown's farm, where he is arrested.

Pedro's fundamental spirit is African, not Jamaican or Costa Rican. He protests against the mistreatment and exploitation of his fellow workers out of a sense of human justice. In spite of his mother's disapproval, he is drawn to Garvey's ideas and the history of Black people. When he was younger, against his mother's wishes, he attended the African religious ceremonies of Mamá Bull. There he felt the spirit of Cuminá, god of the Yoruba people.

Now, confronted with accusations of murder and inciting labor unrest, Pedro decides not to leave Costa Rica. He attends another ceremony by Mamá Bull which helps him reach the decision that he will rebel against the unjust system by serving as an example to his people. "[[questiondown]]No habia danzado Cuminá en su cuerpo?" (179)

The false charges brought against Pedro raise the ugly head of racism in the bar of the Chinaman. One customer lashes out angrily at Blacks and Chinese. When the Chinese owner scolds him for insulting a Black woman, who is present, he explodes in an ethnic rage: "---Vos te callas también chino hediondo. Yo no sé por qué hay tantos extranjeros aquí. Y vienen a meter ideas en la cabeza de la gente pacifica" (171). Perez, the Spanish friend of Mariot, defends the other races in the same tone, for, as he says, "no quiero que tengan la impresión de que todos los ticos somos así." (171)

Although the illegitimate daughter of a wealthy white Jamaican woman and her Black coachman, Mariot identifies deeply with African beliefs, most of all Samamfo, the place where the spirits of the ancestors dwell. Mariot fears that no one remains in her family to carry on its glory since a tragic accident had robbed her husband of his eyesight and his strength.

When Pedro comes to Estrada, Mariot sees in him the future of the family, for she hopes that he will marry Sitaira. After Sitaira's death Mariot laments her loss: "El hombre sin descendencia es una calabaza hueca" (77). Before Pedro leaves her home for the last time she has relations with him: "---Ya una está vieja, pero talvez...talvez...." (169)

Pedro's surrender appears to signal a victory for the established power structure. Brown gives a party to which all the important people of the village are invited. Oddly both the minister and Mamá Bull attend, and they get along very well. People watch from a nearby house for they have heard that the governor has arrived to take Pedro to Limón for trial.

It is then, however, that the people recall the minister's sermons on the verses: "De entre mi pueblo levantaré a uno---dice el Señor---le quitaré el corazón de piedra y le daré uno de carne, y será la liberación de muchos y la gloria del pueblo." (184)

Mamá Bull had interpreted the passage to mean that Cuminá would become flesh in the village and would be the village itself and "los altares saldrían sobrando." (184)

The sermons and Mamá Bull's prophecy are now clear to the people. Their glory and their liberation had come in the presence of Pedro. Their African ancestry will bind them together and sustain them in their present tribulations. "Cuminá danzaba la paz del pueblo." (187)

Gordon writes that "el pueblo de herencia africana tiene que ser consciente de su pasado, de sus tradiciones, de sus dioses, de sus sedes" (115). Duncan illustrates this point in many ways in his works.

In Hombres curtidos, for example, Jakel Duke leaves Jamaica to go to Panama for the purpose of retrieving his dead father's belongings. Aboard ship he listens to Black sailors play African folk music in which they recount a battle between white invaders and Ashanti warriors. The song is, in reality, "esa historia escondida en la sangre que por suya, era la única verdad. Palpitante, necesariamente musical." (18)

The treacherous defeat of the Ashanti affects the listeners profoundly, for they understand that the song represents the plight of their people. "Los negros lloran. Sudan llanto. Lágrimas de la intimidad de una raza curtida en los siglos." (21)

Grace, Jakel's daughter, later recalls the important verses of the song: "Tierra Ashanti, [[questiondown]]rompió en la brisa el furor de mil cañones? [[questiondown]]Quién iba a olvidar las lanzas inútiles que tapizaban la arena, la sangre indígena derramada sobre la playa impotente?" (66)

In Los cuatro espejos Ruth Viales is the daughter of an obeahman. When Charles McForbes' wife, Lorena, is struck down by a mysterious illness, Ruth says that Lorena had been attacked by a dopi, the spirit of a dead person. In spite of the education he had received in San José, Charles believes that Christian Bowman put a hex on his land, so he requests a remedy from Lorena's father, who is an obeahman. Bowman himself sees an obeahman for his problems.

Pedro and Mariot are the characters who are attached closely to African beliefs (Cuminá, Samamfo) in La paz del pueblo. Nonetheless, Brown, the strong supporter of Western values, accuses Pedro of putting a spell on Mrs. Mantle's daughter by means of an obeahman.

Sitaira remembers her mother's stories about Hermana and Hermano Araña, popular figures in Limón folklore whose origins are West African Ashanti. They are "recuerdos que corren en la sangre, leyendas viejas, fábulas que el viento arrulla por las noches...." (101)

In conclusion Duncan shows that the Black people of Costa Rica have contended with the African, Caribbean, and Costa Rican elements which make up their identity.

"[[questiondown]]Eres costarricense?" Jakel's question to Clif is only the beginning of the young man's inner awareness. Duncan suggests that self-definition is difficult and not reached easily. Clif must resolve the question for himself. It is not a simple matter of rights. "Hay algo más." (135)

For Duncan's characters identity is an existential pursuit. Clif Duke, Charles McForbes and Pedro Dull seek an authentic self-concept which will allow them to find significance in their lives. It is a painful journey because they will confront many obstacles to self-realization in a country "que nunca decidió si quería o no a los negros." (Hombres 94)

Through his literary works Duncan is guiding the reader to a better understanding of the fact that the Afro-Costa Rican's need for identification and direction is common to all human beings.

In Gordon's words: "El interés personal de Duncan en la situación del negro es solamente un aspecto de su preocupación por toda la condición humana." (41)


1 Several Costa Rican authors have portrayed Black characters

in their fictional works. The most outstanding representations are given by Carlos Luis Fallas in Mamita Yunai (1941) and Gente y gentecillas (1947). Other important characterizations can be found in Manglar (1947), Puerto Limón (1950), and Cocorí (1947) by Joaquín Gutiérrez. For other works and further discussion see Alvaro Sánchez M., "El negro en la literatura costarricense," in El negro en Costa Rica, ed. Carlos Meléndez and Quince Duncan (1972; rpt. San José: Editorial Costa Rica, 1989), pp. 173-189.

2 For further discussion see Carlos Meléndez, "El negro en Costa Rica durante la Colonia" (Negro 13-58).

3 Garvey came to Costa Rica in 1909, 1921, and 1928.

4 Duncan describes the obeahman as "un hombre con poderes sobrenaturales. Poderes que puede usar para bien y para mal." (Negro 121).

5 Duncan writes: "Uno de los personajes más interesantes de la tradición oral, es el Hermano Araña (Annancy). Su nombre viene de la palabra Ashanti corresponiente a araña. Los cuentos sobre el Hermano Araña, tienen su origen en el folklore africano de la Costa Occidental." (Negro 190). For further discussion on the influence of African folklore on Costa Rican writers see Melendez (Negro 54).

Works Cited

Bonilla, Abelardo. Historia de la literatura costarricense. San José: Editorial Costa Rica, 1967.

Chase, Alfonso, ed. Narrativa contemporánea de Costa Rica. Vol. I. San José: Ministerio de Cultura, Juventud y Deportes, 1975.

Duncan, Quince. Hombres curtidos. San José: Imprenta

Metropolitana, 1971.

______________. Kimbo. 2nd ed. San José: Editorial Costa Rica,


______________. La paz del pueblo. 2nd ed. San José: Editorial Costa Rica, 1986.

______________. Los cuatro espejos. San José: Editorial Costa Rica, 1973.

Gordon, Donald K. Lo Jamaicano y lo universal en la obra del

costarricense Quince Duncan. San José: Editorial Costa

Rica, 1989.

Meléndez, Carlos, and Quince Duncan, eds. El negro en Costa Rica.

1972; rpt. San José: Editorial Costa Rica, 1989.

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